Monthly Archives: December 2012

Risk – The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same III – Geopolitical

In our last post, we discussed the top environmental risks facing your Supply Management organization that were chronicled in the World Economic Forum‘s 7th annual Global Risks report. Chronicling dozens of risk divided into five categories, this report did a tremendous job of covering the types of risk that an average Supply Management organization needs to prepare for. Today, SI is going to continue its coverage of the report by discussing the top risks from a geopolitical perspective, which haven’t changed at all in the past year.

03: (Pervasive Entrenched) Corruption

Corruption can take many forms — bid rigging, bribery, collusion, fraud, embezzlement, organized crime, price fixing, and thievery just to name a few. Each of these can be devastating to your supply chain. Bid rigging, collusion, and price fixing can significantly increase your costs. Bribery and thievery can result in a loss of your IP and product plans which could negate years and tens of millions to hundreds of millions of research and development. Embezzlement and fraud could drain your organization of necessary operating capital and organized crime could result in an entire warehouse of inventory disappearing overnight. This is one risk that’s never going away.

02: Terrorism

Terrorism is on the rise, and terrorists are getting their hands on more powerful and destructive weapons by the day. And it’s not just religious extremists that you have to be afraid of. There’s also anti-establishment extremists, new-age radical groups, and anarchists. Each of these groups could decide that your goods or services are against god, pro-establishment, anti-progress, or too orderly and decide that your corporation needs to be taken down here and now. One well planned strike and your factory, or headquarters, is a smouldering crater.

01: Geopolitical Conflict / Fragile States

Civil unrest can often quickly escalate into civil war and civil war can quickly result in cities, counties, and even provinces becoming inaccessible and if the conflict escalates, entire borders will close. Once a border closes, nothing gets in our out. Your factories become cut off from the rest of the world, and all of your inventory, tying up all of your capital, becomes inaccessible for an indeterminate amount of time. And your supply management organization, like the goods in your cut-off factory, is at risk of total destruction.

Risk – The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same II -Environment

In our last post, we discussed the top societal risks facing your Supply Management organization that were chronicled in the World Economic Forum‘s 7th annual Global Risks report. Chronicling dozens of risk divided into five categories, this report did a tremendous job of covering the types of risk that an average Supply Management organization needs to prepare for. Today, SI is going to continue its coverage of the report by discussing the top three risks from an environmental perspective.

According to the report, the two top risks, which are essentially the same as last year, are:

Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Climate Change that will Result

Climate change may not seem like a big risk, but it can have drastic consequences on your operations. Not only can it increase the likelihood of (tropical) storms, floods, blizzards, and ice storms, which can destroy your factories, wash away your delivery trucks, trap your workers in the factory for a week, and take down entire power grids, but it can wreak havoc on your operations. For example, if you want to drill for oil in the oil sands, you need the ground partially frozen. If six months are required to extract a year’s worth of oil but by the time the ground freezes there will be less than four months of drilling time, problem. And if the risk of flooding is significantly increased, so are the chances of your supply chain being brought to a grinding halt.

Unprecedented Geophysical Destruction

This is likely to take the form of:

Earthquakes & Volcanic Eruptions

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 demonstrated the devastation that earthquakes could have on global supply chains. The earthquake and resulting tsunamis not only damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and hundreds of factories, which resulted in almost 20,000 deaths, but also resulted in the immediate declaration of a state of emergency at a nuclear power plant when dangerous levels of radiation escaped the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) plant. In addition, it triggered the immediate shut down of 15 of Japan’s nuclear power stations and a crisis at the Tokai No. 2 Power station was narrowly averted.

However, this earthquake is nothing compared to what a well placed major volcanic eruption can accomplish. Not only can a major eruption near the edge of a tectonic plate trigger an earthquake, but it could launch enough ash into the air to make air travel through a region impossible for months. The recent volcanic explosions in Iceland in 2011 are nothing compared to some of the eruptions that have happened in the last few thousands years. Not even the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980 was very big. It only erupted 1 cubic km of lava. The largest eruption, in terms of java discharged, in the last 99 years was Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. A whole 10 cubic kms of lava was released. The 1912 eruption of Katmai in Alaska released 12 cubic kms. And this is nothing compared to the 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia that released 100 cubic kms of lava. And students of history are aware of how Mount Vesuvius buried Pompei under 4 to 6 m of ash and pumice. The eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which was heard across the world, released so much ash into the air that it caused a volcanic winter. Temperatures worldwide dropped an average of 1.2° C for the next 5 years as a result of ash that was ejected 20,000 ft high. If this happened today, air travel would be interrupted for at least six months in the region. The interruptions in air travel as a result of the Icelandic explosions would be minor in comparison.

Flooding

The floods in Thailand last year and the floods in Bangladesh and the Philippines this year are a perfect example of the significant impact that floods can have on global supply chains. Economic losses in 2011 due to the Thailand floods reached 46 Billion by the end of 2011 (Source), more than doubling the insurance losses that were expected to reach 20 Billion (Insurance Insight). The reality is that a single flood can cause so much damage that it could literally bankrupt an operation. The automotive sectors and electronic sectors were impacted the hardest by the Thailand floods — more than 400 Japanese companies in these sectors suspended operations or lowered output as a result of the floods.

And with global warming, which is causing many of the ice flows in the arctic to break up, the risk of flooding is greatly increasing. Many of the worst floods in history were ice-jam floods resulting from “breakup jams” which force ponding upstream and a rapid release of water when the ice dams breach. This is what happened in (April) 1952 on the Missouri River in (Bismarck) North Dakota where an eroding ice dam resulted in flow increasing from about 2,100 m3/s to more than 14,000 m3/s in less than 24 hours. The river rose 5 feet in less than 2 hours and submerged nearly everything south of US Highway 10. Fortunately, this was not a densely populated area, otherwise, instead of 200 houses being destroyed, there would have been 20,000 houses destroyed and likely thousands of deaths. If this happened near your factory, it would be wiped out almost instantaneously.

Risk – The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same I – Society

The World Economic Forum‘s 7th annual Global Risks report was recently. Again chronicling dozens of risk divided into five categories, this report did a tremendous job of covering the types of risk that an average Supply Management organization needs to prepare for. What’s interesting about this report is how the biggest risks in many of the categories haven’t changed at all since last year. Take Society for instance. While it chronicled seven major risks in this category, the top two dwarf the other five and they are the exact same as last year.

02: Food Security

People need to eat. As a result, they need access to safe, secure sources of staple foods at an affordable price point. If they don’t have access to safe, secure sources of staple foods at an affordable price point, they riot — as we have seen in Tunisia, Algeria, Bangladesh, Mogadishu, India, China, and even the UK and Canada this year. When people riot, property gets destroyed — property that could include your delivery trucks, your goods in your warehouses, and even your production plants. Try ensuring supply with no distribution mechanisms for raw materials, no working production lines, and no warehouses to store anything.

01: Water Security

Not only do people need water, but supply chains need water. First of all, supply chains need energy. Energy production requires water (as per the Water Energy Nexus). For example, in the USA, about 2 US gallons of water evaporates to create one kilowatt hour of energy. Steel, which is a component of many goods, requires 62,000 gallons of water for the production of a single ton. Semi-conductor fabrication plants often require up to 2,000 gallons of water per minute. No water, no goods, no components, and no energy. And if water gets too scarce, so is food. And a vicious downward societal cycle will begin.

It should be obvious by now that while the risks of pandemic, chronic disease, religious fanaticism, migration, and age aren’t going away, they aren’t going to matter much if we don’t have the food and water to sustain ourselves.

Spend Rappin’ (5th, and Final?*, Repost)

It’s Boxing Day! And you know what that means … at Sourcing Innovation, it’s Spend Rappin’ time! (It’s a very well-established holiday tradition!)


  To the Tune of “Christmas Rappin’” by Kurtis Blow

Don’t you get me all that JIVE about code you used before I’s alive,
Cause this ain’t 1965 – ain’t even 1999!
Now I’m the guy named Lamoureux and Spend is one thing that I know.
So every year, just about this time, I celebrate it with a rhyme!

Gonna save it, gonna shave it, gonna make it good,
Gonna take it all down through your neighbourhood.
Gonna wring it, gonna sling it till it’s understood.
My rap’s about to happen, like the knee you was slappin;
Or the toe you been tappin’ on a hunk of wood.
‘Bout a two fisted dude, with a friendly attitude
and a sack full of savings for the people on the block.

He’s an old grey beard, maybe looks kind of weird,
and if you ever seen him he could give you quite a shock.

Now people let me tell ya about last year
when the dude came slicing spend through here.
Well the wit was out, the gloves on the ground,
folks stayed to watch him cut it down.
The beat was thumping on the block,
and they were glued to just one spot,
as the master cubed at a solid pace,

got a taste of the waste thrown in your face.

And this old spend slayer laid down a heavy layer
of his slicing dicing rhythm to a tree-mapped beat.
And the guy with the database started to participate,
and I could sure appreciate the spend roll up neat.

We were all in the mood so we had a little brood,
not a sound did abound, as he ploughed through the mound,

then I thought I heard a gasp as he sliced through the past,
and laid our mav’rick spend bare, as I flopped into a chair.
So I went to the attic where I thought about the static
that our last spending tool was programmed to always give.
And I threw up my arms at the industry yarns,
Just a trick, a nick, and I’d let the suckers in.

He was quick, he was sharp and always on the mark,
he had a lot of success on his chinny, chin, chin.
He avowed, he was proud of the savings he allowed
from the tip of the ‘burg he found the savings within.
He’s cool for a fool throwin’ out every rule
every hour of the day when the cold winds blow.
Though the beard was-a cleared, I still have never cheered
like I did in the storm when I was in the know.

I said you’re right, my spend’s a fright,
Can you stop for a drop before you have to go?
He said “Sure, Bill, if the wine is chilled
and I’ll stake a steak down at the Monaco”.
So we went out back and discussed the stack
of invoices that had all been over-paid
and every dollar spent off of the contract
and then we laid it all bare till we made the grade.

And before he went this fine old gent,
finding gifts went to sift through his spend reports.
From the top to the bottom he reached in and got ‘em,
spend trends for me, and variances from torts.

And the higher-ups got presents too,
Banned suppliers and a stale contract.
A bloated pie ’bout as clear as the sky,
the best that money couldn’t buy.
Cause money could never ever buy the feelin,
the one that comes when there’s no concealin’
of your spend by a tool that’s new
and that’s what Strovink‘s does for you.

The dude ya read’s back at the keys,
up late till all’s where it should be.
But if he were right here tonight,
he’d say Truthful Spending and to all a good night!

* As most of you are aware, Opera Solutions acquired BIQ this year and has begun folding it into their solution offerings, offering BIQ Exploratory Analytics as one of their Vertical Offerings and using it to power parts of their VEKTOR platform.

P.S. For my new readers, this cheerful verse is the result of a sly comment by Eric over on e-Sourcing Forum back in 2007 on How Not to Get a Job.

P.P.S. For those of you who’d like to be spend rappin’ too, please download the new white paper on Spend Visibility: An Implementation Guide. No registration required. It’s the best boxing day gift your organization will ever get!

Christmas Rappin’


   by Curtis Blow
mp3
on YouTube

(Since it’s difficult to find complete and well-formatted lyrics on the web.)

Don’t you get me all that JIVE about things you wrote before I’s alive,

Cause this ain’t 1823 – ain’t even 1970!

Now I’m the guy named Kurtis Blow and Christmas is one thing I know,

So every year, just about this time, I celebrate it with a rhyme!

Gonna shake it, gonna bake it, gonna make it good,

Gonna rock shock rock you through your neighbourhood.

Gonna ring it, gonna sing it till it’s understood.

My rap’s about to happen, like the knee you was slappin;

Or the toe you been tappin’ on a hunk of wood.

‘Bout a red suited dude, with a friendly attitude
and a sleigh full of goodies for the people on the block.
Got a long white beard, maybe looks kind of weird,
and if you ever seen him he could give you quite a shock.

Now people let me tell ya about last year
when the dude came flying over here.
Well the hawk was out, the snow’s on the ground,
folks stayed in to party down.
The beat was thumping on the block,
and I was dancing in my sock,
and the drummer played at a solid pace,

and a taste of the base was in my face.

And the guitar player laid down a heavy layer
of the funky junky rhythm of the disco Beat.
And the guy with the 88 started to participate,
and I could sure appreciate it sound so sweet.

We were all in the mood so we had a little food,
and a joke, and a smoke, and a little bit of wine,
when I thought I heard a hoof on the top of the roof.
Could it be or was it me, I was feeling super fine.
So I went to the attic where I thought I heard the static

on a chance that the prance was somebody breaking in.
But the noise on the top was a reindeer clop,
Just a trick St. Nick, and I let the sucker in.

He was roly, he was poly and not the holy moly,
you got a lot of whiskers on your chinny, chin, chin.

He allowed, he was proud of the hairy little crowd
on the point of the door where the skin should’ve been.

Get’s cool for a fool throwin’ out every yule
for a day on the sleigh where the cold winds blow.
So the beard maybe cleared, but I never have a-cheered
’cause it’s warm in the storm when it’s ten below.

I said you’re right it’s cold tonight,

Can you stop for a drop before you go?

He said “Why not if the music’s hot
and I’ll chance a dance beneath the mistletoe”.

So he went downstairs and forgot his cares
and he rocked the spot and danced like a pro.

And every young girl tried to rock his world,

but he boogie oogie oogied till he had to go.

And before he went this fine old gent,

finding gifts went to sift through his big red bags.

In the top for the bottom he reached in and got ‘em,
toys for the boys, and for the girls flat rag.

And the grown-ups got some presents too.

A new TV and a stere-u.
A new Seville ’bout as blue as the sky,

the best that money couldn’t buy.

Cause money could never ever buy the feelin,

the one that comes from not concealin’

the way you feel about your friends

and this is how the story ends.

The dude ya read’s back at the pole,

up north where everything is cold.

But if he were right here tonight,

he’d say Merry Christmas and to all a good night!